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Despite challenges, restaurants opening downtown

READ MORE: Despite challenges, restaurants opening downtown

We've been watching as businesses come and go amidst the ongoing construction in downtown Wilmington. Many still see downtown as a prime business location with a bright future.

The Blue Lotus on Front Street closed after only four months, but one restaurant opened last week and another is gearing up to open its doors next week

Mixto opened last week in the old Water Street Restaurant downtown. It offers a full menu and a full bar, but a bar is the last thing some residents and even downtown business owners want to see.

"I think there is a good balance," Mixto co-owner Harper Peterson said. "I think it's all about responsible ownership and management, and we'll be fine."

This is Peterson's second attempt at making his business a success in downtown. Although Mixto will welcome a downtown night scene, food is its main priority.

"I'd like to say we are food forward here, but we've got a mixologist behind the bar that puts together some crazy flavors as well," executive chef Eric Gephart said. "So I think if there's a nice balance there then everybody wins."

With many restaurants already in the area Gephart says he knows it is going to take time and effort to set themselves apart from the rest.

Next week Press 102 plans to open on the corner of Dock and 2nd Streets. The restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. It hopes to have a martini bar at night if it can get its liquor license.

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